Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

William Bell Scott:

33) Poems. Ballads, Studies from Nature, Sonnets, &c., illustrated by seventeen Etchings by the Author and L. Alma Tadema.

London 1875

Although William Bell Scott had started to publish his own lyrics very early, it was only with this illustrated collection that he gained considerable approval as a poet. The earliest poem in this revised selection, To the Memory of Percy Bysshe Shelley, dates back to 1831 and was originally published in Edinburgh in 1838. Linton had dedicated his first issue of lyrics, Claribel and other poems (1865), to Scott and it is to be assumed that his ambitions as a poet would have never proceeded so far without the example of the Scottish painter-poet and the friendly rivalry between them. But whereas the lyrics and imagery of Scott predominantly remained in the patterns of the Pre-Raphaelites’ chivalrous romanticism, Linton’s poetry draws its specific friction from very heterogeneous conceptions. Of special interest are some of Scott’s etchings, in which he anticipated a morbid kind of symbolism a la Félicien Rops.